Trinity Effingham Champs

Stewardson Trinity went 4-0 to win the Effingham 8th grade tourney on Saturday. Pictured left to right; (Front) Alaira Friese, Isabelle Gratz, Halle Moomaw, Kinley Quast, Gabby Vonderheide, Addie Wernsing, Ella Kinkelaar; (Back) Coach Tammy Manhart, Brinlie Durbin, Madison Beitz, Marissa Daniels, Brenna Musson, Mollie Slifer, Coach Katie Durbin, Coach Bridgitte Friese.

Stewardson Trinity volleyball (19-0) got what they were shooting for, the Elite Effingham 8th Grade Tourney Championship. They beat Mt. Pulaski 25-5, 25-16, beat Murphysboro 25-15, 25-6, Massac County, 25-12, 25-10, and Hartsburg, 25-12, 25-19.

The teams they played against are part of storied programs in volleyball that came from miles away to play in this tourney. But just down the road a few miles, tiny Trinity knocked them all off.

“This was one of our goals after falling short last year,” said Trinity coach Tammy Manhart. “We said at the start of this season this year, we wanted to win the Effingham 8th grade tourney.”

They not only won, they won in straight sets all four matches. They defeated their opponents by 29, 29, 28, and 19 points. They out-scored their foes 200 to 95, by 105 points.

“The girls played great the whole day. They never got intimidated by who was on the other side of the net. They just played hard and smart like always.

Trinity served 45 aces, hit 101 kills and stuffed one block for 147 attack points out of 200 total (73.5%). They dished 81 assists towards the 101 kills (80%). They scooped 116 digs.

“This is a very tough tournament with many top teams in the state competing. This is a first for Trinity, so I am very proud of these girls. We have a few more matches left in regular season and then post season. We high hopes for post season as well.”

Gabby Vonderheide led the Cardinals in almost every category. She served a team-high 34 points with a team-high 15 aces. She sizzled a net threat 39 kills and scooped a team-high 33 digs. She tallied 54 attack points.

Halle Moomaw was the other net threat, She served 29 points with 13 aces and hit 25 kills for 38 attack points. Ella Kinkelaar served 18 points with 6 aces, hit 19 kills and dished a team-high 48 assists with 19 digs. She scored 25 attack points.

Addie Wernsing served a team 2nd 32 points with 7 aces, hit 9 kills and scooped a team 2nd 28 digs. Alaira Friese helped dish 37 assists and had the only recorded block.

Effingham 8th Tourney

Trinity def. Mt. Pulaski, 25-5, 25-16; def. Murphysboro, 25-15, 25-6; def. Massac County, 25-12, 25-10; def. Hartsburg, 25-12, 25-19

Trinity Tourney stats: Gabby Vonderheide 34 points, 15 aces, 39 kills, 2 assists, 33 digs; Ella Kinkelaar 18 points, 6 aces, 19 kills, 48 assists, 19 digs; Halle Moomaw 29 points, 13 aces, 25 kills, 1 assist, 6 digs; Alaira Friese 15 points, 2 aces, 4 kills, 37 assists, 8 digs, 1 block; Addie Wernsing 32 points, 7 assists, 9 kills, 1 assist, 28 digs; Kinley Quast 1 assist, 21 digs; Isabelle Gratz 9 points, 2 aces, 5 kills, 1 assist, 1 dig.

John Curtis can be reached at

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